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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  CBS  May 16, 2010 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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captions by: caption colorado, llc (800) 775-7838 from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by met life. guarantees for the "if" in life. issue one, talent rules. >> everybody's treating me very well. that's the most i've said all day. >> elena kagan this week made the rounds in the u.s. senate. solicitor general kagan was looking to garner support for her nomination to serve as the next u.s. supreme court justice. her confirmation will need a
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majority vote in the senate judiciary committee and at least 51 votes in the u.s. senate. general kagan would then serve on the court for life unless she chooses to resign. her profile, ba princeton, ma oxford, jd harvard. court clerk u.s. circuit court judge one year. court clerk u.s. supreme court justice thurgood marshall, one year. d.c. law firm two years, professor of law university of chicago, four years. contemporaneously in part with the university of chicago professor of law, barack obama, associate council white house four years. professor harvard law school four years. dean harvard law school six years. u.s. solicitor general department of justice 15 months and currently. president obama's top lawyer in cases before the supreme court.
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despite these impressive credentials it has been noted that general kagan has no experience as a sitting courtroom judge. this drove some negative appraisal. >> strikes me that if a nominee does not have judicial experience, they should have substantial litigation experience. miss kagan has neither. >> question, ideologically, how does elena kagan seem to incline, to the left or to the right, patrick? >> she wrote her princeton thesis on the sad demise of american socialism. she worked for elizabeth holtzman and broke down in tears when she lost the senate race and threw the military off the campus of harvard. that tells you where she's coming from. the key question is, john, i don't believe the lady is qualified to sit on the united states supreme court. she's never been a judge. she has never litigated anything before they gave her the job of solicitor general. she has never written a book. she has never written anything that shows real scholarship in
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constitutional law. barack obama is pulling this court to the left, and quite frankly, when you put in sonia sotomayor, i think he is dumbing down the supreme court. she is, you know, an intelligent, attractive lady, but i'll tell you this, she does from aaliyah, alito, roberts and thomas. >> eleanor? >> you borrowed that phrase dumbing down from your sister bay or she borrowed it from you. you've written ten books. i don't know that that qualifies you to the supreme court. i don't think writing a book is a necessary qualification. this woman has superb academic credentials. she has been confirmed and served as solicitor general of the united states for the last year arguing cases before the supreme court. she has a history as a consensus builder which is what barack obama likes. i know you think barack obama's far left, also, but by other people's likes, he's center,
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and so did she. she built a lot of alliances on the hill, the white house and certainly dean at the harvard law school. most importantly, we've watched her operate in the supreme court. and she dares to take on justice roberts, and she has a friendly jousting relationship with justice scalia. she is every bit their intellectual equal. >> liberal presidents never make the mistake that republican presidents often do, which is choose somebody who they are not quite sure where they are going to fall ideologically. this woman is to the left. she is a liberal and will be a judicial activist if she makes it through her confirmation process. she's also a cipher because she has never been a judge. she has no paper trail. there is no -- nothing really to discern any real judicial philosophy coming out of this woman, and that's exactly why obama chose her to make the confirmation process relatively easy. remember that back in 2005,
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president obama went down the same road in the very misguided nomination of harriet miers. she was the white house council, so she was no slouch. conservatives went after her for the same reasons that a lot of people are leveling criticism at kagan now which is that she has no judicial experience, no litigation experience, and does not deserve to sit on the u.s. supreme court. >> don't woe have former distinguished members of the supreme court who have not had any judicial, that is sitting judge experience? >> she is the first one in decadesp. >> rehnquist. >> give me another? >> william rehnquist was the only one. >> there's a hundred out there. [ all talking at once ] >> there hasn't been one in decades. >> you mean that over the course of time is becomes a more demanding requirement? >> when you think of nominations to the supreme court, certainly presidents have every prerogative to choose whoever they would like, but you want someone living and
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breathing the constitution every day, unlike her. >> what about temperament? >> absolutely she has the judicial temperament and intellect to go with it. i think these arguments about what her particular background is as a sitting judge is, i'm not saying it's irrelevant, but it's not decisive by any means. she has lived in the world of the highest parts of the law. she is absolutely deserving of an appointment, and i think she will get through the nomination process with others believed general kagan's main weakness is lack of real world experience. "she's a surprising choice from a president who's emphasized the importance of understanding how the world works and how ordinary people live. miss kagan has spent her entire professional career in harvard square, hyde park and the d.c. beltway. these are not places where one learns how ordinary people
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question. solicitor general kagan comes from the world of ivy tower and hyde park. hyde park stands for wealth, by the way. is this combination a the wealt >> this one, she's upper west side. she's from new york, from the university of chicago, from harvard, the washington beltway. frankly, a lot of those folks there are. >> what's her net asset position? >> i don't know. >> john, let me make one point? >> i think she's able to afford a comfortable lifestyle but i don't think that's relevant to the issue right now. >> do you know rich people who are good in their judgment? >> a few. i'm not saying all of them. >> how about the billionaires? >> you start at the very top, john. >> i believe everything she's gotten has been well deserved. she graduated from hunter high school, which is sweat itive in new york. her parents were taken with
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issues of social justice. she is outside the judicial monastery, and that, i think, brings her -- she's from a different place than the other people. >> so her net worth is a little over a million dollars? >> that's okay. >> so she's a millionaire. barack obama has $5 million, according to the reports. >> right. there's another interesting angle to this that nobody's really talked about. when we talk about diversity on the court, we usually check certain boxes, rave, gender and so on. john paul stevens was the last military veteran on the court, and barack obama's now replacing the last military veteran with a nonveteran. all of the other justices are nonveteran. perhaps it would be interesting in diversity's case to put a veteran on the court dealing with all of the military issues coming up in a time of war. >> okay. should the supreme court be a
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representative body mirroring the nation's makeup on the categories of age, race, and religion. what do you think? there are no -- the youngest justice. kagan would be the fourth woman to serve in the court's entire history. over 220 years. kagan would also be the third woman on today's high court. the court three female justices serving together. geography. fourth justice from new york joining justices scalia, beginsberg and sotomayor -- ginsberg and sotomayor. the court currently has two minorities, thomas and sotomayor. religion. no protestants on the court. generationson jewish. that would mean the court would have no protestants for the first time in its history. rather,
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question. did the framers of the u.s. constitution intend that the court mirror the makeup of the nation or did nation or did they intend something else? i ask you. >> frankly, they wanted the country to mirror the makeup of them because they said this is for ourselves and purchaseny. look at the democratic presidents not in 50 years have they nominated any white christian male or female to the supreme court in half a century since -- >> do you think the constitution -- >> what are you suggesting by that, some sort of bias against white catholics? >> i am suggesting there is a hostility in the democratic party -- >> oh -- >> let mim him finish, eleanor. >> there are six catholics on the court already and you will fault barack obama for not naming another one? >> he named a catholic. my point is, the daley, rizzo
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and rostenkowski is dead. they are going for the new minorities that run that party. >> demographics are resting, pat. if you are unbuilder which is w barack obama pat -- >> 60% -- >> this is a wonderfully diverse country. >> eleanor, do you think that the founding fathers had in mind to populate the court geographically? what are the categories, race, gender, religion, for example, there are no protestants on the court. there are three jews and six catholics. >> there used to be nine -- >> 150 million protestantsp. >> there used to be nine protestants. i'm sure there will be more protestants in the future. there are only nine people. you can't represent everybody. >> aren't they all east coast? >> the founding fathers didn't think the supreme court would matter that much, and it didn't until marbury -- >> i think it's wonderful that we're going past the issue of religion and allegations of
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this or that category for the people to be in the supreme court. >> mort, that's ridiculous! do you think either of those appointees would be on there if they weren't women? that's ridiculous. >> the founding father $not want a representational body. they wanted two things, legal merits -- >> john, 99% -- >> legal merits who had the training and had the intellect and b, you have what? the judicial temperament. that's all they want. >> 99% of the country -- [ all talking at once ] >> let her finish, eleanor. >> do you think i'd be on this panel as long as i have been if you didn't need a woman? you can get someone who needs what they are doing. >> look, the founding fathers, that's exactly what they envisioned. yes, it is a co-equal branch of government so they did envision the judiciary. it's extremely important. that's why they made lifetime appointments to make a set of checks and balances on the unitary executive and the congress. >> this court is east and ivy
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league. eastern elite and all went to ivy colleges, every one of them. >> what a shame. >> is that what you want? >> it is a handicap to be really well educated, to be the ivy league as we all know, still by and large represents highly qualified and intellectual experience. >> they wanted the finest minds and the judicial temperament. that's all we wanted. so we stick with that. >> 99% of the country was protestant when you started off in 1789. they wanted the court to reflect them and it did for a hundred years. nixon appointed -- nixon and ford appointed seven white protestants. >> there have been four women on the court in 230 years, and i think 108 men. that's too many. too many women. >> and the founding fathers also held plays, but we don't -- >> exit question.
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exit question. is kagan a shoe-in for confirmation, yes or no? >> it is no sure thing. highly probable but no sure thing because -- >> oh, come on. >> she doesn't know the constitution. >> where does that fall? >> come on. come on. >> that falls into the no category. >> no likely. >> i want a yes or no. >> she's likely to win. >> that's a yes. >> i agree with that. >> but not a shoe-in. >> pat and his pals are trying to get enough support for a filibuster. >> what's the answer, yes or no? >> yes, she will be confirmedp. >> she's not going to be a shoe-in but will be confirmed. she will get a handful of republican votes abut they are going to pound her. >> you asked for yes or no. you do not have a judicial temperament on this group, if i ma i say so. the answer is yes. >> the answer is a shoe-in, yes. when we come back, the afghan/u.s. afghan/u.s. pact. the forecast is full of ifs. retirement these days,
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issue two. the afghan/u.s. pact. >> i think again for the excellent meeting this morning in which president obama and i discussed the entire section of african-american relationship. we also discussed during our meeting this morning the afghan-american strategic partnership, and the relations towards the future beyond the successes that we would certainly gain against terrorism. >> afghan president hamid karzai visited the white house this week to meet officially with president obama. this detente between the united states and afghanistan is on its face a shocker. a historic, a milestone which both leaders appeared to want
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to downplay. >> when i came that office, i made it absolutely clear that i intended to resource an effective strategy in afghanistan and work with the afghan government so that we have a strong, stable, prosperous afghanistan. >> reporter: this historymaking pact is not without political risk to the u.s. leader and commander in chief. >> i've used whatever political capital i have to make the case to the american people that this is in our national security interests that it's absolutely critical that we succeed on this mission. >> as for president karzai, the u.s./afghan relationship is the strongest it's been in the last decade. >> the relationship between afghanistan and the united states is now into its tenth year in the form that housed since september in 2001.
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it's not an imaginary relationship. it's a real relationship. it's based on some very hard and difficult campaign against terrorism together. >> he's probably referring to the drone attack, which was very painful on them. with the ratio of 25 civilians to every one terrorist. alleged terrorist. so question, how do you account for the mutual between mr. obama and mr. karzai? do we all agree that this is historymaking, that this is a pact and will be a declaration by mr. obama at the end of the year? so this is a historymaker. >> you don't think so? >> this is very simple, practical politicsp. >> but it's also based on commitment. it is based upon a thorough
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examination. obama said he has researched this. it's not just a meeting of heads of state. >> we've got 100,000 guys there, john. mort is exactly right and we've been at loggerheads with each other and we've got to get along because we both have everything invested in this thing. it is necessity, and they both did the right thing. >> he's going into kandahar, the president is. with our troops. >> so are we in june. >> so are we in june. he's working up a preparation for that because he wants to begin the withdrawal from afghanistan soon. >> right. >> the beginning of august. >> the middle of next year. >> by mid-year next year in time for those elections and the elections the following year. >> it's complicated because his brother -- >> whose brother? >> karzai's brother is one of the top counsels in kandahar. >> he's working with the the cia? >> the position is he's corrupt and we don't know what side he's on. karzai was questioned about his
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brother. he basically said his brother was elected, he can't fire his brother, the people can fire him. so there are a lot of things that are imperfect about the relationship, but each side needs the other. >> am i exaggerating the history of this event this week? >> it is a little bit because if it is a pact, it's a temporary pact. during a surge in afghanistan, he simultaneously announced the timetable for the withdrawal at the white house is mutual embrace this week is because the white house realized they made a huge mistake. they're trying to repair the relationship. trying to bring in the low- level goes on the taliban to get them on the side of the afghan people. >> do we need karzai more than karzai needs the united states or does karzai need the united states more than -- >> we need each other.
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>> well, i want to hear from her. >> yes, it is an equitable symbiotic relationship. we both need each other because we don't want the taliban to regain control. >> so much for the low-level president karzai has won re-election. it 'twas a legitimate election outcome. >> you just made a point of using the word legitimate. >> and i very much mean it. now it's up to . now it's up to him to demonstrate what he can do with that. >> so pat? >> she's got a good relationship with karzai and moving forward with her, but look, john -- >> you don't like this idea, do you? >> it's a pact of necessity. >> is it a smart move, yes or no? >> yes. >> yes or no? >> yes. >> is it a smart move yes or no? >> yes. >> is it a smart move? >> yes, but it's limited. >> it's smart but as mort says it's limited. we'll be right back with we'll be right back with predictions. when planning for retirement these days,
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this is beyond cable. this is fios. predictions, pat? >> obama will fail to meet his august deadline for the removal of all combat troops from iraq. >> the fbi just carried out a raid on a suspected terror cell outside of boston. that is allegedly linked to the times square bombing. look for more raids because they have identified more cells. >> mort? >> within a year, we'll have another crisis over the euro because the bail is not effective. >> obama will meet his deadline to extract troops from iraq. don't forget to friend us on facebook and follow us on twitter. bye-bye. here's to the believers.
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